Editor’s Note: We're searching for the best and brightest admin professionals and workplace operators in the US. Know an outstanding Ninja? Nominations for the 2020 All-Star Awards are now open!
Please join us in congratulating today’s featured OfficeNinjas All-Star, Alexis Croswell!
Alexis is the Office Manager for San Francisco-based Betts Recruiting. She handles everything from day-to-day operations to new employee onboarding to organizing staff events. She received OVER 40 nominations from her peers (wow!), and everyone made a point to comment on her attention to detail, workplace innovation and can-do attitude.
One perceptive colleague wrote:
Since the first day Alexis set foot in our office, she was on a mission for change. Betts Recruiting is a relatively new company, and in the start-up world, things are in constant flux… Alexis has managed to wrangle and streamline EVERYTHING! She has laminated binders, color coded calendars, and researched new software to store and share information company wide. Also, she’s brought her personal passion for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle to our office. She has implemented a compost system for food and paper items and keeps our cupboards stocked with nutritious treats. She is the definition of an office ninja!
We couldn’t wait to chat with Alexis. Here’s what she had to say about being an OfficeNinjas All-Star.
ON: How long have you been an office ninja?
AC: I started working at Betts Recruiting this January, so I’m a relative newcomer to the field! I’m absolutely loving it so far.
ON: What’s your favorite part of being an office ninja?
AC: Honestly, I’m hyper-organized and I love processes and structure. When I see that something could be done more efficiently by setting out a workflow or centralizing information I feel the need to put that in place. I also love how this can help an office work better together. And of course I like the fun things. I arranged an Easter egg hunt this month with help from two other staff members, and it was great seeing everyone get excited about it.
ON: What’s the one thing that’s always on your desk and why?
AC: A dorky photostrip of my dad at a conference in Chicago. My dad has always been 100% supportive of me in all that I do and I like to have this little reminder of that. He also has achieved amazing success in his field of work and I find him an inspiration when it comes to working hard while maintaining your sense of self.
ON: Tell me about the craziest day you ever experienced as an office ninja.
AC: It was in the first month of my job at Betts, and I walked up to my boss saying “The phones are dead.” A wave of panic washed over me (not going to lie) followed by an immediate plan of what to do. I let everyone in the office know what was happening and the steps I was taking to solve the issue. We had people manually let visitors into the office and everyone worked using their cell phones. It was definitely a crazy day, but it really made me respect the team here. Everyone went with the flow and was patient with the process it took to get the phones fixed.
ON: How do your team members help you succeed?
AC: The culture at Betts Recruiting is fantastic; it’s supportive, encouraging, collaborative – I could go on. My team members are great at making me feel appreciated, which I know doesn’t always happen in admin roles. We are encouraged to find conferences and mentors for professional development and advancement in our roles and overall careers.
ON: Where does your drive come from? What keeps you motivated?
AC: As a kid I dreamed of having my own business, and I also loved organization. Creating a positive, clean, energetic workplace keeps me motivated. I want everyone who steps into Betts Recruiting to feel that energy. Every time someone says “Wow, your office is great” I feel a burst of pride.
ON: What’s your favorite afternoon pick-me-up?
AC: I occasionally listen to the Blogged 200 channel on Songza. It’s got great upbeat songs and keeps me going after lunch. Sometimes I’ll take a walk outside or call one of my family members on the east coast.
ON: What is your greatest professional achievement? What are you most proud of outside of work?
AC: Since I’m relatively new at Betts, my greatest achievement so far isn’t one thing – it’s the collective result of all the little things I’ve done so far and feeling confident in this new role. Outside of work, I’m proud of my freelance writing and having the time to make home-cooked food.
ON: Any exciting projects you’re currently working on?
AC: A few! We recently got a fantastic photo booth from the folks at Photo-Matica (no, they’re not paying me to write that, I really just love them), so I’m working on getting everyone updated headshots for LinkedIn. I’m also starting a book club and company wellness program around Fitbits. These projects that contribute to our company culture are so important to me and I love working on them.
ON: What are the top 3 traits of an OfficeNinjas All-Star?
- Sense of humor. This is one that I learned from my dad. If you do common things (like send a survey or email) you might as well have fun with it. Also, in any office things are bound to go awry sometimes. If I got upset each time something went wrong (at work or in my life) I wouldn’t be very productive, so I choose to see the humor in it and stay positive.
- Work Ethic. I’m in love with Todoist – it’s my go-to organization app. I also learned a lot about how to work efficiently from Getting Things Done by David Allen. When I have a clear idea of what lies ahead of me each day I feel prepared and can handle those unexpected hiccups that always eventually happen.
- Patience. This also falls under proper communication. In the workplace I think it’s really important to be patient and have empathy for your coworkers. We’re all busy and trying to do our best. I always try to remember that.
ON: Office ninjas often have tips and tricks of the trade. Any you care to share?
AC: Finding community with OfficeNinjas and other Office Manager/Admin focused groups has been a very valuable experience for me. I also think that designing your space to suit your needs is a simple way to improve your work environment. Treat yourself to a nice file organizer or colorful mousepad. It may seem simple or silly but for me it works!
Alexis, you’re going places… literally anywhere you want with your $1,000 Uber prize package! Congrats, All-Star!
Today’s All-Star is presented by:
Uber for Business is a travel management platform that makes everything from booking airport trips to safe rides home for employees a cinch.
Photos by Cheshiredave Creative, a Bay Area-based photographer specializing in portraits/headshots, lifestyle, food, events, and performances.